Top 5 Other Things That Could Be Done With Disneyland’s Tomorrowland

I’ve previously addressed some areas of Disneyland Park that I’d love to see upgraded – one, Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, is no more and the other, Mickey’s Toontown, is rumored to be a future expansion site, likely for Fantasyland.

So today I’d like to turn your attention to the other land in most dire need of an overhaul at Disneyland Park (and some would argue at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort, too) – Tomorrowland.

Currently, it functions as a temporary Star Wars Land – featuring the Star Tours and Hyperspace Mountain attractions, the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple show, the Star Wars Launch Bay Meet & Greet location, the Star Wars: Path of the Jedi highlight reel running in the Tomorrowland Theater, plus assorted themed food concoctions such as the meals served at the Galactic Grill (formerly Tomorrowland Terrace). Oh, yeah, there’s Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and the Astro Orbiter there, too. (Okay, and Autopia and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage as well, but they’re so on the outskirts they could still be considered Fantasyland attractions.)

Unfortunately, none of this mish-mash of attractions actually represents anything resembling “tomorrow”. The subs and rockets and cars (despite a recent Autopia refurbishment, still running on gas rather than electric) are all decidedly retro technology, the Toy Story attraction belongs at the Pixar Park – Disney California Adventure, and Star Wars takes place “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”.

So what can be done with Tomorrowland?

In the short term, nothing. While the actual Star Wars Land is being built on the opposite side of the park, Tomorrowland will likely continue to be the temporary version of it for the next few years. But after that, then where will we be?

Well, here are some of my off-the-top-of-my-head personal suggestions…

First off, I’d’ve put Star Wars Land here given the choice, but I accept that the space is not ideal for the matching lands being designed for both Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. But I would’ve been happy to see:

  • Pizza Port or Tomorrowland Terrace become a Star Wars cantina (WITH entertainment daily and nightly)
  • Retheme Buzz Lightyear to Star Wars: Rebels
  • Redesign Astro Orbiter vehicles into landspeeders or Rey’s speeder bike
  • Raze Innoventions and Autopia and put a dark ride there
  • Tear down the People Mover tracks if they can no longer be used OR put an Empire Strikes Back speeder bike attraction up there using a similar system to the new TRON bikes at Shanghai Disneyland
  • Make the subs a visit to an undersea alien world

Second, I’d’ve also been fine with this area becoming a Marvel Land:

  • Innoventions would’ve been a perfect Stark Expo location (keep the Meet & Greets they had and add more as new films were released plus have some technology previews – only keep them current and relevant)
  • Turn Star Tours into a variation of the Iron Man Experience going into Hong Kong Disneyland
  • Retheme the Astro-Orbiter as a trip to Asgard
  • Retheme Buzz Lightyear as an animated Avengers attraction
  • Retheme Space Mountain to Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Just accept that subs and cars are actually part of Fantasyland and adjust the maps

However, since Star Wars Land is happening elsewhere, and the removal of Marvel Meet & Greets from Disneyland to Disney California Adventure is strongly signaling that the rumored Marvel Land will most likely be built somewhere around the Hollywood Land area, neither of these are possibilities for Tomorrowland at this point. So what else could be done?

Idea #3: TRON Land

Yes, I’m a TRON nerd. I’d love to see Disneyland get either:

  • The TRON themed coaster that Shanghai Disney is getting
  • Or put TRON bikes up on the People Mover tracks
  • Bring back ElecTRONica and have this fun dance party take place at Tomorrowland Terrace
  • Bring back Flynn’s Arcade and put it in the Starcade
  • Retheme Buzz Lightyear to being inside video games such as Space Invaders
  • Retheme Space Mountain to being inside the Grid
  • Just accept that subs and cars are actually part of Fantasyland and adjust the maps

Idea #4: Discoveryland (ala Disneyland Paris)

One thing I think Disneyland Paris got absolutely right was to look backward rather than forward for inspiration for their version of Tomorrowland. They called it Discoveryland. Its aesthetic is Jules Verne/steampunk and that is a theme built to last. I’d love to see:

  • The whole area given a steampunk aesthetic (and keep it consistent!)
  • Leave Astro-Orbiter as-is – the color scheme works
  • Return the Subs to its 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea theme and turn the area into a version of Mysterious Island from Tokyo DisneySea
  • Retheme Buzz Lightyear to a steampunk “travels in outer space” dark ride for the young ones. Or dinosaurs. Because Verne. And dinosaurs.
  • Retheme Space Mountain to its original version but add a Victorian style in the vein of “a trip to the moon”
  • Tear out Innoventions and Autopia and put in a version of the Journey to the Center of the Earth attraction from Tokyo DisneySea

Idea #5: Tomorrowland Land

I know. I’m the only person who “got” the movie Tomorrowland and loved it. But with its retro-style and 1950’/60’s Walt Disney optimism, I think it’s the perfect theme to revitalize this area. Just as walking down Main Street is like stepping into the turn of the 20th century, make Tomorrowland Land like stepping into the mid-century – with its dreams of space travel (sell astronaut bubble helmets!) and jet packs and microwaves and futuristic cars.

  • Use the beautiful art direction of the film to restore the architecture of this area to a 1950’s futuristic aesthetic (REMOVE THE STUPID ROCKS FROM BLOCKING THE ENTRANCE!)
  • Make Innoventions into a 1950’s/60’s-era World’s Fair with the sunny visions of the future and ideas about technology that would change our lives – run period Disney documentary shorts there like Ward Kimball’s Man in Space
  • Return Autopia to 1950’s-era cars – but make them electric vehicles
  • Return the Subs to its 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea theme – or even a retro conservation type attraction ala a Jacques Cousteau’ ‘appreciate the ocean’ theme
  • Restore Space Mountain to its original version (remove Hyperspace theming) – it’s retro enough until itself
  • Return Astro-Orbiter to a Rocket Jets theme – 1950’s/60’s style
  • Retheme Buzz Lightyear to an adventure helping the good robots from the movie escape the bad ones with their ray guns
  • Retheme Star Tours to the “commercial” adventure from the film showing off the beautiful design as you soar through that idealized Tomorrowland

How would you like to see Tomorrowland updated? Would one of these ideas appeal to you?

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